By Sherwood Martinelli
If you do a couple of Internet searches, (Eco-Town and Greensburg) you'll see that a small town in America's Heartland, Greensburg Kansas, is getting a whole lot of attention. That's exactly what they need, since the tornado that strolled down Main Street, destroyed more than 80 percent of the city's infrastructure.
My own involvements with the community began some weeks ago when a close friend of mine, Bill Thomas of Green Home Solutions rang me up in the middle of the night and said, “I had a dream, and you and I are going to go spend a week in Kansas helping the people of Greensburg rebuild their town.” My first thought was, “Why Greensburg?” I mean any town or city devastated by a natural disaster deserves all the help we can give them--but too often there just does not seem to be enough help to go around, with the best known example being New Orleans, and the Ninth Ward--so why Greensburg?
CT and NY-based Involvement
All communities ravished by natural disasters deserve attention, and a growing group of us here on the East Coast have recently formed a new organization aimed at helping Greensburg, and other communities recovering from natural disasters to not only recover, but to re-build using green building materials, to rebuild a more eco-friendly sustainable community. Green Helping Hands will help get GreenTown what it needs.
The town and GreenTown want to build an eco village with six green homes cited in the village, another six built at other locations throughout the town, thus creating a real life model of sustainable green living that others can visit and study, which in turn will create eco-tourism for this small rural community.
So far, Green Helping Hands has the attention of GEM motorcars, manufactured by Chrysler, and McGraw Hill Publishing. We are also raising donations of green building products, books for the new library, and more.
Many Hands, Many Minds
Green Helping Hands has proposed to have a competition wherein the best architectures in the world could compete to have their plan chosen for these green home builds. The idea has been well received, so stay tuned or better yet, come and join us!
Discovery Channel will launch Planet Green, an eco-focused cable channel, and one program scheduled to be aired is Eco-Town, hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio. After he saw the post-tornado destruction in Greensburg and heard about their dream to be America’s greenest city, he pitched the idea for his show to Discovery who embraced the idea with open arms. Thirteen episodes of Eco-Town are now being filmed/produced journaling the efforts of Greensburg to rebuild themselves into America’s greenest Community.
Mother Earth News (Ogden Publishing) stepped up and offered to build one of the first LEED Certified home models for GreenTown.
Greensburg has presented America with a wonderful opportunity. If everyone pitches in, if everyone steps forward and makes a small contribution of their time, effort or money, we can not only rebuild a small town in the Heartland of America, but we can re-build it as the Greenest city in America, a model that other communities can study and immolate moving forward.
Take some time to read more about Greensburg and Eco-Town, visit our web site (still under construction) and then get involved!
America has always been the land of dreams and opportunity, and in helping Greensburg, you can play and important part in making those dreams and opportunities come true for one small town that was devastated by a natural disaster.